A new social shopping network called OpenSky will launch this month. How is this site different from other shopping sites like Groupon or LivingSocial.com? The new site connects members with their favorite celebs and experts for in-the-know recommendations at insider prices. Membership is free, so signing up is pretty simple to hobnob with the elite.
OpenSky helps consumers to design their own shopping experience and discover new products and ideas curated by the world’s most interesting people, particularly celebrities, authors, stylists, chefs and other trendsetters. Looking over the list of curators is like thumbing through Us, Stars or People Magazine.
The shopping site features a passionate and growing community of experts, all with distinctive perspective, expertise and passion that is unique to their individual personalities including: Food: Chef Bobby Flay, Chef Ming Tsai, Buddy Valastro, Chef Michael Ruhlman Style: Designer Cynthia Rowley, Designers Liz Lange & Jane Wagman, Kelly Killoren Bensimon, Lisa Rinna, supermodel Veronica Webb, Kristin Cavallari Home & Design: The Judds, Naomi and Wynonna, DJ Donna D’Cruz Healthy Living: Alicia Silverstone, Mariel Hemingway, Tanya Zuckerbrot, MS, RD and New York Times best-selling author Kathy Freston.
OpenSky dedicates to the fact that consumers esteem celebrities. “We use social media everyday to discover new ideas and news from the people we admire who share our passions,” said John Caplan, Founder and CEO of OpenSky.
Chef Bobby Fay seems sincere about working with members. “Cooking is at the heart of what I do every day and so I’m constantly exposed to new ways to make it different, better and fresh,” said Chef Bobby Flay. “OpenSky makes it possible for people who feel the way I do about food and cooking to benefit from that just as much as I do.”
The site seems a little like following a celebrity on Facebook or Twitter. OpenSky is designed for the shopper who craves originality. The members of OpenSky personalize their experience around their interests by “following” the curators they feel share their passion and interests. Curators offer their followers an exclusive look at their everyday adventures and discoveries each week alongside insider access to their personal product recommendations at special prices.
Once a shopper has selected their curators they’ll begin receiving weekly emails from each alerting them to a new offer. Products are offered at exclusive pricing for the first 24-hours before becoming available in the curators “collection” at regular retail price. Shoppers have access at any time to the products each curator has recommended by visiting the curators “collection.”
“Whether through our music or meeting fans at our shows, one of our greatest joys is openly sharing our hearts and lives with our fans. OpenSky gives us a way to let them in a little further and take a piece of our world into theirs through the great things we find along the way,” adds Wynonna and Naomi Judd, The Judds.
I wonder how close members will actually get to the celebrities. As a curiosity, I’d like to know if hobnobbing via a social shopping network is the same as joining Bobby Flay in his kitchen, cooking with him while interjecting latest trends in shopping for the kitchen.